Dog Marking in the House

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  1. Hi, All...

    I wondered if anyone could help. My Schnauzer is 8, and about a year ago, he started marking in the house. He never does it when anyone is watching, but always does it when we're home. He seems to do it in rooms that he's been told to get out of - almost always the kitchen and the master bathroom. He did mark occasionally in rooms that DH had blocked off when he was remodeling, but that hasn't been a problem lately. I have had him since he was about 9 weeks old, and this was never a problem before. It started when DH and I started spending a lot of time together - and I figured it was because I was gone a lot and came home smelling like another dog. He and I have since moved in with DH and his dog. For the first 3 or 4 months, we didn't have a problem with him. He marked in the house maybe 1 or 2 times. But lately, he's started doing it again. Any time one of us leaves the bathroom door open at night, we'll wake up to pee on the floor. He pees in the kitchen at random times, but usually in the same spot.

    Both of our dogs are in their kennels most of the time when DH and I are both gone. We do let them have the run of the house when we're both working all day, as the problems we have with them always happen we DH and I leave the house together - not when we leave separately. When we leave them out, he doesn't mark in the house - only in the yard.

    I'm reasonably sure this is a dominance thing - he's about 1/5 the size of our other dog, and really tries hard to be the boss. The two dogs get along great - they play and run and have fun together. DH's dog does steal my dog's food when we're not watching them eat, but that doesn't seem to be related to the marking. Also, we've been told and read that there have to be places for dogs and places for humans. Neither dog is allowed on the furniture, and both have kennels that they go to for security and rest on their own, as well as being in there when we're gone. Also, my Schnauzer doesn't like taking orders from DH - he looks at him very defiantly (DH's dog does the same to me), but he does like DH - he's constantly going to DH to be pet and talked to.

    I thought of putting one of the belly bands on him, but they use a doggy door, so it would be hard to remove it every time he goes outside. I'm wondering, though, if I did use a band on him, and he couldn't mark AT ALL, would he get the message and stop? Or would it get worse?

    Does anyone have any suggestions? We've tried the nasty smelling sprays that are supposed to deter them - they don't work (all they do is make the house smell bad).

    We've been to the vet - there aren't any physical problems.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Hi illi. Sounds like you do have a dominance situation there. When he marks in the bedroom, where specifically is he marking? Is he marking OVER any other scent? Say, over your DH's scent or over the other dog's scent? Have you established that DH is higher than him in the pack? It sounds like he's trying to work out the hierarchy and exerting himself wherever he can.

    The stealing of your dog's food by the other dog is definitely a dominance thing, and your dog may be trying to re-establish himself in the pack by marking. I'd suggest (1) reasserting yours and DH's authority and (2) scrubbing down of marked spots with urine eliminating solutions.

    Good luck!

  3. Thanks, fate!

    He doesn't seem to be marking over any scent other than his own, which is why it's so strange to me! In the master bathroom, it's under the window, between the tub and the toilet. It's not a place that DH or I ever walk even - right up against the wall. But when it was just me and the pup, he would always hang out in the bathroom with me while I was getting ready in the morning - or I'd leave the door open so he could come and go. Now I have to keep him out or I'll have both dogs in there and there's just not room for all 3 of us, since DH's dog is about 100 lbs. In the kitchen, it's at the corner of one of the cabinets. We've sprayed the areas he's marked with the urine-b-gone type stuff (3 or 4 different brands), and when that didn't work, we even used bleach. Doesn't work - it really doesn't seem to be a scent he's after.

    I think he's just sort of confused by the competition (Hubby and another dog - we've all been living together for close to a year). Since he was a puppy, it's just been me and him, he's had all the attention, been allowed to pretty much do anything he wanted, etc., and was always a well behaved dog. He was very easily potty trained, and never barked much (not typical of a Schnauzer), didn't chew anything he wasn't supposed to after his puppy days were over, etc so I wasn't ever too tough on him with the training stuff. DH's dog is much bigger, and much more destructive, so he got a lot more training. He pretty much listens to hubby, but I usually have to tell him something 5 times in a progressively louder voice to get him to listen to me. My dog usually listens to DH, although he does give dirty looks sometimes.

    I'm really starting to think that both of us should take both dogs to obedience classes as a refresher and to reiterate to them that we're both in charge of both of them.